Playing it Safe

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old. We grow old because we stop playing.” – George Bernard Shaw 

Are you playing it safe and holding back from the things you’d like to do? Have you ever asked yourself why?

I find a lot of people come to a point where they live their lives too safely, who limit themselves by not trying anything new.  I’m fascinated why some people lose their curiosity in their 30s and 40s while others continue to expand their lives and experience new things in their 70s and 80s.

I’m an adventurer at heart and come by it honestly. In fact, my late grandmother Betty Howatt inspired Keep Going for It, Chapter 16 of Your Oxygen Mask First. She lived her life out loud, even going back to university at age 81 because she was curious about the religions of the world.

Because I was born with the ‘explore DNA’, I’m always inspired by people who aren’t playing it safe and continue to push themselves, like:

  • A friend who went back to University to study biology because he was curious about the brain
  • An entrepreneur I work with who, in his 70s, still skis 40 to 50 days a year, and is one of the keenest learners in our Leadership Education sessions
  • A colleague who studied fine art, in her late 50s.

Everyone is different, and there’s no right or wrong – unless your brain and body are stagnating, and you’re not taking steps to get what you really want.

I’ve found that the more I face the discomfort of pushing myself to learn something new, the more confidence I gain. Try it! You’ll see its contagion spread to every area of your life.

The Challenge

  • Where are you to taking steps to expand your horizons?
  • Where are you holding back and why?
  • What’s one step can you take today to move forward and stretch yourself?

If you want some inspiration, read Chapter 16 of Your Oxygen Mask First or check out this video: Keep Going for It.